How late is too late?
We all love taking advantage of a late, sunny afternoon at the park or having a barbeque at home, and it’s easy to start staying up a little longer in the evenings during the warmer months. Another factor might be that your younger child goes to bed at the same time as their older sibling, which can land up stretching to 9:30pm by the time you have prepared dinner, engaged in after-school activities, done homework and bath time… It might sneak up on you – suddenly your child is going to bed too late on a regular basis!
I often get asked whether kids sleeping past 8:30-9 pm is ok?
For working parents, it will start affecting the amount of time you get alone, and how much sleep you get before you must get up in the morning.
So, how much sleep should our kids be getting?
Here is a guideline of what we should aim for in a 24-hour period:
- 1-8 months: approximately 14 to 15 hours
- 8-10 months: approximately 12 to 15 hours
- 10-15 months: approximately 12 to 14 hours
- 15 months to 3 years: approximately 12 to 14 hours
- 3-6 years: approximately 11 to 13 hours
- 7-12 years: approximately 10 to 11 hours
When maintaining a consistent routine of meal, sleep and wake time, having a guide is helpful for all of us to set our internal clock.
Another reason for not letting your kids go late to bed, is that it can lead to them not getting enough sleep, which makes them overtired and irritable. It may also make it harder for them to fall asleep, they might start waking up more frequently during the night and wake up earlier in the morning.
With holiday festivities around the corner, try and keep to a routine for your children that will work. Over excited, tired children find it difficult to enjoy their daily activities and really struggle to fall asleep for day naps and nighttime. The lack of sleep very quickly becomes a problem for everyone.
If you are planning to travel these holidays, have a game-plan for your child’s sleep routine. You need to have a flexible schedule that will work when on holiday, the key is to watch your child’s sleep cues and roll with the unique circumstances. Once you get home get straight back into your normal routine.
Proper sleep habits promote energy, wellness, learning, good moods and sanity. Best of all, enough sleep will help keep happy, contented, thriving children. Enjoy your family time!!